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Old 09-15-2010, 12:42 AM   #1
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upgrade - sand

my brother and dad are upgrading their tank. The current tank is about 75 gallons? give or take, the new tank is 260 gallons. My question is about the sand. We bought a few bags of new sand which we rinsed well and put in the new tank with some water. Now when we move the current tank over to the new i was thinking get a rubber tub for the fish, move the rock and some of the water over, stir the sand up in the remaining water to clean it some and then just move it over. My dad seems to think we need to clean the sand very very well and let it dry before putting it back into the new tank. I think this will be harmful to the bacteria and such in the sand, will it be okay to just move it over? the old tank is about 4 years old and we do have a sandsifter goby who keeps it pretty clean.

also another question, should we put the fish in right after the rock/sand is all moved over? or should we wait in case of a minicycle? if wait - how long should we wait to put the fish in?
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Old 09-15-2010, 01:04 AM   #2
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If you're worried about transfering disease, I'd side with your dad on treating the sand.

If your tank seems healthy, I'd side with you on rinsing the sand with tank water.

If your new tank is stable with no ammonia or nitrites, and you transfer everything without damaging them, (drying it, washing with tap water or chemicals) then I see no problem adding your fish when you tank is ready, preferrably soon to avoid starving the bacteria.

Also, didn't see you mention it, but gently rinse any filters or anything like that in your old tank water and add it to the new tank as well. If you discard your old filter you may lose a lot of bacteria and may have a mini-cycle.

No matter how stable it seems, I'd test regularly for a week to make sure.
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Old 09-15-2010, 05:37 PM   #3
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In a 4 year old tank I would take a few cups to seed to seed the new sand band and chuck the rest.
There will be all kinds of nasty stuff in the bottom layers that will get stirred up and could cause problems.
Thorough rinsing at a minimum would be required and yes you will lose most of the bacteria. The bacteria are in the top inch or two, but you don't much to seed a new sand bed.
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Old 09-15-2010, 06:43 PM   #4
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I agree with getting rid of it. That sand is going to be so nasty when you stir it up it will knock you out it`s going to be so bad. It`s just not worth it compared to the cost of sand. As Cmore said "chuck it".
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Old 09-15-2010, 09:56 PM   #5
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I defer to the more experienced aquarists. If it was my tank, at this point I'd consider not re-using the sand, or just adding a small amount from the top layer
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Old 09-15-2010, 10:39 PM   #6
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chucking the sand has been repeted often among many forums. the sand is a filter. take the clean part and toss the dirty.
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Old 09-16-2010, 01:30 AM   #7
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okay thanks ill let them know....my dad wont be happy to hear that he needs to spend more money :p

....so if we use mostly new sand will the tank recycle? (there is live rock)
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Old 09-16-2010, 08:23 AM   #8
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If you are moving directly from one tank to the other, there shouldn't be any cycle.

Back to the original question then, what difference would the sand from the 75 make in a 260? did you have a DSB or was it thin? if it was thin enough, you could probably get away with cleaning it, but then there wouldn't be enough sand to risk it. See? if it were deep, the risk is too high.
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Old 09-17-2010, 01:51 AM   #9
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yes makes sense...the 75 has about...3 inches maybe? id have to go take a look later (just got into bed). I think we will just be using some of it for seeding.

If anyone wants to see pictures i will be posting them on my brothers page (i made him join the site but he rarely comes on...obviously not the AA freak i am :p). matt78 is his user name

thanks guys!
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Old 09-17-2010, 09:09 AM   #10
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At 3" there is enough toxic material in the bottom to matter. Grab some sand from the top inch to seed the new tank, or just take a couple of pounds from the old tank to seed the new. It won't take long for the all the new sand to become LS.
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